artist #4: donald sultan

hello, dear readers! it's been a long time coming for this next installation in my {attempt at an} artist series, but I do hope it was worth the wait!

meet Donald Sultan. I discovered his work at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) in 2001 (during my brief stint at U of M) and was immdiately captivated by his unique perspective and choice of medium. born in 1951 in North Carolina, much of Sultan's work would be considered still life, although he "describes these works as first and foremost abstract." (read his full bio here and here) I, however, would never have pegged Sultan for a still life artist, much less an abstract one, based on my inital encouter with his work...

while not a smoker in the least (nor an advocate, for that matter!) these phenomenal images have been ingrained in my mind's eye since viewing them. the paintings (yes, paintings!) I saw were created using tar, spackled on tile over masonite (see full description of exhibit here) although many of these pieces are now being sold as prints. at the price of the prints I can only imagine what the originals must go for (if sold at all, I can't seem to find them anywhere online) but would I love to own one someday? yes, please!!! (;

it's not until today, years later, that I've finally taken the time to research Sultan more fully and discover the true breadth of his work. although the ethereal Smoke Rings are still my faves, his body of work is quite impressive, as can be confirmed by its appearance at world-renowned art institutions across the country, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. (as stated here)

(poppies and smoke rings found here)

(battery and tulips found here, poems and images originally published in Visual Poetics: The Arts of Donald Sultan with text by Michael McKenzie)

(Accident, July 15, 1985, Image 48 x 48 inches latex and tar on tiles mounted on Masonite, 4 panels 96 x 96 inches (243.8 x 243.8 cm.) overall, as stated here)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elle, well you already know I am a fan! Thank you for visiting my blog post on Donald and glad to discover yours too!


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